All above with President Zuma’s Chief of Staff daughter

2014-08-01 11:56

While there has been outrage over President Jacob Zuma’s youngest daughter, Thutukile as Chief of Staff in the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, it is vital that we all think of this appointment logically. We ought to make sense of such a phenomenon as objectively as possible in order to perhaps get a glimpse into the thinking behind what some may perceive as gross irrationality of infinite proportions.

A chief of staff is responsible for supporting high-level executives in making decisions and completing projects. These projects could relate to staffing, business, contracts and meeting deadlines. While there are no specific educational requirements of a chief of staff, having a master's degree in business, political science or public policy can be beneficial. Experience for a prospective chief of staff matters most, and applicants must prove to be trustworthy, decisive and loyal over a period of time. The incumbent will be the right hand and radar to the minister of the Telecommunications and Postal Services and its subsidiaries.

The roles of the Chief of Staff are both managerial and advisory and will include but not limited to the following:

  • Select key Ministry staff
  • Structure the Ministry of Telecommunications Staff system
  • Overseeing the general management of the budget of the Ministry
  • Acting as Ministerial representative as delegated by the Minister
  • Manage the flow of information in the department
  • Protect the interests of the minster
  • Negotiate with other departments, members of the executive branch, and other non-government entities
  • Advise the Minister on various issues

The total budget allocation in the 2014/15 financial year is R1, 59 billion part of which will be transferred to the Department of Communication. Had the Department of Telecommunications been  a private company, it would be roughly the size of Rand Merchant Bank based on annual expenditure and profit respectively. In essence, Miss Zuma would technically be playing the role of 57 year old RMB group CEO, Peter Cooper. Mr Cooper served as a Chartered Accountant and Financial Advisor before his appointment as CEO in 1999 after 7 years at the group.

Thus said, Thutukile Zuma will therefore be expected to advise and make decisions on the workings of the following organs of the Department of Telecommunications among others:

  • South African Post Office (SAPO)
  • Telecommunications and Postal Services
  • Sentech

A similar post was advertised in 2013, outlining the requirements of a Chief of Staff in the South African context. Below are excerpts from the advertisement which clearly states that education is not a prerequisite for the position. Unless this is a typing error, Miss Zuma is therefore qualified for the job on basis of being a trusted party according to her employer, The Presidency and Minister Cwele. Please also note that it states that the job is a “role-playing post at chief director level” therefore, regardless of Miss Zuma’s actual level of experience, according to the dictionary, she surpasses the requirements by far unless she is a bad actor and impersonator. This is no way meant to diminish her abilities to carry out the required duties.

Chief of Staff

Region: Pretoria

Salary: 934866.00

Introduction : General management of staff in the Ministry

Minimum Requirements : No Desired Education...

Full Description :



Chief of Staff

(Role-playing Post at Chief Director Level)

Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

Salary: All-inclusive remuneration package of R934 866 (Level 14) (Ref. 102278)

Requirements: * An appropriate 3-year tertiary qualification at NQF level 6 * Extensive management experience * An understanding of relevant legislation and policies that have a direct bearing on the work of the Minister’s Office * Proven high-level communication (verbal and written) skills * A sound understanding of Ministerial Services and Parliamentary functions to take charge of the overall management of the Ministry * Knowledge of the Public Service Management Framework and Public Finance Management Act.

Note: Candidates need to meet the requirements for a Top Secret security clearance.

The Presidency is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. It is our intention to promote representivity (race, gender and disability). The candidature of persons whose transfer/appointment will promote representivity will receive preference. Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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